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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Springfield City Council Reviews Road To Recovery Recommendations

Chloe O'Neill

Springfield City Council is expected to vote soon on a document that outlines what the next few weeks will look like as restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remain in place and start to ease up.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, Clay Goddard, and Springfield city manager, Jason Gage, shared details of the proposed Road to Recovery Plan with council members Friday.  The document will help guide Springfield Mayor Ken McClure's future recovery plans, according to Gage.  He called it "a game plan."  And it will help the city's residents, businesses and organizations know what to expect as they plan for the next two months.

The plan will lead to future orders, according to Gage, even though each one is lessening.  

The document outlines what will be allowed in 12 categories:  Restaurants and bars; entertainment venues and museums; essential retail and non-essential stores and businesses; personal care services; gym and fitness centers; playgrounds, pools, trails and parks; sports and sporting events; childcare, camps and private schools; religious services, weddings and funerals; long-term care facilities; and all residents.

The document has several phases that go through July 23. Currently, the city is in Phase 1-A, which began May 7.

Phase two is May 26 to June 14; phase three is June 15 to July 5; and phase four is July 6 to July 23.  Council will meet in mid June to see how the reopening is going and look at data before deciding what phase five, which includes the Ozark Empire Fair, could look like.  

Goddard told council they'll need data and evidence to guide them going forward.  There will need to be constant monitoring of conditions to inform them what the consequences of reopening are, according to Goddard, if there are any.

"The recovery plan allows us to positively phase down our community restrictions based on an ongoing evaluation of the Dashboard and those outcomes," said Gage.

Some examples of what the plan contains:

In phase two, in-person religious services, weddings and funerals would be allowed with 25 percent of occupancy limits in rooms and facilities.  In phases three and four, 50 percent of occupancy limits in rooms and facilities would be allowed.

In phase two, non-contact sports/activities would be allowed with 25 percent occupancy limitation for fixed seating spectator areas, and non-contact practices of contact sports area allowed in stable groups of 25.  In phase three, non-contact sports are allowed with 50 percent occupancy limitation for fixed seating spectator areas and contact practices are allowed with limitations of stable groups of 25.  In phase four, contact sports/activities are allowed with 50 percent occupancy limitation of fixed seating/spectator areas.

In phase two, restaurants could have dine-in service with 25 percent occupancy of indoor and outdoor seating areas.  In phases three and four, they could have 50 percent occupancy.  No counter seating would be allowed.

While the city is looking at a plan for recovery, Goddard reminded council members, "We cannot become overconfident.  We cannot become complacent.  The virus is still here."

Click here to view Friday's City Council study session.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.